Talking Trash


I’m talking trash today. What else can one do when one is up to their chin in the stuff? For some reason, my trash men have become too uppity to take anything unless it is packaged a certain way to meet their specifications.

It used to be, when I first moved out to the boondocks, that trash pickup services wanted your business. They would knock on the door, leave flyers, and practically beg you to use their service instead of the less convenient competitors that made you drag the trashcans to the curb.

You see, in unincorporated areas we do not have such conveniences as a municipal trash service. For all they care, you can bury it in your back yard or haul it yourself. Therefore, it is up to the suburban homeowner to find a private trash company and hire them to do the dirty deed if it is done.

My new trash folks were great. They came up in the driveway right to the cans and took anything there twice a week. Even the extra rubbish from holidays or yard work magically disappeared in the early dawn unnoticed.

Then the price went up. Later the amount of trash they would collect became limited to two cans. Eventually, they only took what was in a plastic bag and only if it did not exceed a certain weight. Finally, they started coming only once per week.

The rules eventually became so numerous, that I lost track. I just started putting it out there and if it remained after a week, it didn’t meet the guidelines.

Trash that doesn’t meet the guidelines can become a real problem. There was the ceramic flowerpot they refused to take because it was too heavy. I got rid of it by smashing it into small pieces and sneaking it into the garbage a piece at the time.

Shrub and tree trimmings were broken into bits and stuffed into trash bags so they looked like ordinary trash. It was a nightmare. I finally found that the county has a recycling and disposal center. I don’t have to spend any more time breaking things into bits, but I do have to go during certain hours when they are open and haul the stuff in my car or enlist a friend with a truck.

Then the other day I made the mistake of hiring my daughter’s friend to rake up the spoiled apples under the apple tree. He bagged them and placed them by the trashcans. The trash man didn’t even give them a second glance, only the trash that met specifications was removed.

Flies gathered as the apples began to decompose in the bags and leak. What to do? Repressing my gag reflex, I double bagged them and put them in one of the empty trashcans. Apparently, specifications were not met, as they are still there. I don’t know what’s wrong. They must be too heavy. Or maybe trash bags need to be tied with a pink ribbon now.

I am simply at my wit’s end. The trashcan is full of apples and insects. I have no place to put real trash. I can’t haul the mess to the disposal center because I can’t lift the can and the bags might leak in the car.

And they wonder why rednecks have washing machines and refrigerators on the porch? This is why! The trash man won’t take it – if there is one. You can’t break it into bits and the disposal center is closed even if you had a truck and could lift it and figure out where to take it.

I’ll figure out something, don’t worry. If worse comes to worse, I’ll hire my daughter’s friend to haul them away. Actually, I’m beginning to wonder if that was his plan all along.

©2004 Sheila Moss

What do you do about your trash? If you have municipal pickup, kiss the garbage man and thank him.

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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3 Responses to Talking Trash

  1. energywriter says:

    Oh yes, the trash rules! We have them here, but many of the neighbors ignore them and put mattresses and televisions in the dumpsters. They also put recyclables in there. Yuck! sd

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL!! I live in an apartment, so I’ve never experienced this.. What a pain… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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